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Poland among top 5 biomethane producers, report finds

A new report by Guidehouse and the European Biogas Association (EBA), revealed that Europe could produce 111 billion cubic metres (bcm) of biomethane by 2040. This amount represents over 30 per cent of the EU gas consumption in 2022.

Biogases will play an important role in the EU’s ambition to achieve a net-zero future by 2050. Via the REPowerEU plan, the European Commission has set a target to produce 35 bcm of biomethane annually in the EU by 2030, representing a ten-fold increase in biomethane production today.

Europe is today producing 4 bcm of biomethane (according to the latest EBA consolidated data from 2022) thanks to newly built plants and upgrading of existing biogas units. Raw biogas production mainly used in combined heat and power plants is currently at 17 bcm.

The EU’s focus is now turning to 2040 as a mid-term milestone towards climate neutrality. The European Commission is recommending a 90 per cent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings target by 2040, compared to 1990 levels. This will require further action to decarbonise across all sectors of the economy. The accompanying Impact Assessment shows that even in a scenario with accelerated electrification across the economy, there will still be a substantial demand for gas, which can be progressively replaced by renewable gases, such as biomethane.

The 2040 biomethane potential for Europe estimated in the Guidehouse report includes 75 bcm of anaerobic digestion (AD) and 37 bcm of thermal gasification. The biggest producers in 2040 are estimated to be Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland, as well as the UK.

In particular, Poland is quoted as one of the countries participating in the COASTAL Biogas project (2018-2021) which explored the potential of biomethane production from seaweed.

Also landfill gas is a solution explored by many countries in CEE, such as Greece, Poland and Slovenia. In fact, according to the European Biogas Association, landfill is the second largest source of biogas production in Europe, with a production of 23 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2022, equivalent to 13 per cent of the total biogas production.

Additionally, to the biomethane potential assessment, the study gave further insights into novel feedstocks and technologies that can boost the potential for biomethane production. For example, the BIOMETHAVERSE project aims to diversify the technological basis for biomethane production in Europe. Five innovative biomethane production pathways are being demonstrated also in the CEE region, namely in Greece and Ukraine (other than in France, Italy and Sweden). According to the BIOMETHAVERSE project partners, the application of these technologies has the potential to increase biomethane production by 66 per cent and further reduce biomethane production costs by up to 44 per cent.

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